December 31, 1837, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

April 10, 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rural Cemetery, Chester, Pennsylvania.


Sweney’s musical gift showed itself at an early age. While still a boy, he began to teach music in the public schools and lead Sunday school performances. At age 19, he started studying music in earnest under Professor Bauer, a celebrated German teacher. He took violin and piano lessons, and about this time became a choir leader. He was also in constant demand for children’s concerts and for conducting glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Dover, Delaware. When the American civil war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment. After the war, Sweney became Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked there over 25 years, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Music (1876) and Doctor of Music (1886).

Sweney composed music for more than 1,000 Gospel songs, and collaborated on many collections. His works include:

  1. Sing On
  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. All Is Ready
  4. Almost
  5. Arch Street
  6. As the Bird Flies Home
  7. At the Breaking of the Day
  8. Attainment
  9. Awake! Awake!
  10. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  11. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  12. Balm in Secret Prayer
  13. Banff
  14. Bells Are Calling, The
  15. Berkeley
  16. Bermuda
  17. Beulah Land
  18. Blest, Blest Forever
  19. Blood Is All My Plea, The
  20. Bratislava
  21. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  22. By and By
  23. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  24. Calvary
  25. Close Thy Heart No More
  26. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  27. Come in, O Blessèd One
  28. Coming to Jesus
  29. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  30. Côte d’Ivoire
  31. Cova da Iria
  32. Cugnaux
  33. Dragicevic
  34. Endure to the End
  35. Everlasting Song, The
  36. Fairer Than the Morning
  37. Falter Not
  38. From the Cross to the Crown
  39. Gather the Reapers Home
  40. Glamorganshire
  41. Glory
  42. Go Work in the Vineyard
  43. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  44. Going Home Rejoicing
  45. Golden Key
  46. Good News
  47. Great Judgment Day, The
  48. Guatemala
  49. Hamsher High
  50. Handful of Leaves, A
  51. Happy Tidings
  52. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  53. He Feedeth His Flock
  54. He Has Come
  55. He Saves Me
  56. He Saves Me Through and Through
  57. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  58. He Will Gather the Wheat
  59. He’ll Do Better for You
  60. Hillsdale
  61. Hilton Head
  62. His Child Forevermore
  63. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  64. Hokkaido
  65. Holy, Holy, Is What the Angels Sing
  66. Hour of Prayer, The
  67. How Oft We Are There
  68. I Have a Friend
  69. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  70. I Live but in Thee
  71. I Shall Have Wings
  72. I Will Shout His Praise in Glory
  73. In the Morning
  74. Is It Nothing to You?
  75. It Is Good to Be Here
  76. Jesus Is Passing By
  77. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  78. Jesus Leads
  79. Jesus Promised Me a Home
  80. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  81. Joyfully Sing
  82. King’s Highway, The
  83. Knock of the Nail-Piercèd Hand, The
  84. Lake Tahoe
  85. Launch Out
  86. Lost Are Coming Home, The
  87. Lost but Found
  88. Medan
  89. Midnight Cry, The
  90. More About Jesus
  91. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  92. Music of the Angels
  93. My Rest
  94. My Savior First of All
  95. My Soul Shouts Glory
  96. Nagoya
  97. New Song, The
  98. No Cross for Me?
  99. No Voice but Thine
  100. Not Now, but By and By
  101. Notre Dame
  102. O Blessèd Word
  103. O Church of God, Arise!
  104. O Fly to Him
  105. O Sinner, Come Home
  106. On Let Us Go
  107. On the Hallelujah Line
  108. On the Victory Side
  109. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  110. Only Once You Pass This Way
  111. Onward and Upward
  112. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  113. Out in the Sunshine
  114. Out on the Desert
  115. Palm Springs
  116. Peace to My Soul
  117. Petersburg
  118. Phares
  119. Phinehas
  120. Praise and Magnify Our King
  121. Praise, Praise His Name
  122. Precious Moments
  123. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  124. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  125. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  126. Rest By and By
  127. Rock in the Desert
  128. Room for the World
  129. Safe in the Glory Land
  130. Schindler
  131. Seek Ye First
  132. Send Out the Sunlight
  133. Shanghai
  134. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  135. Shining for Jesus
  136. Shout in the Camp, A
  137. Show Me the Rock
  138. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  139. Since I Found My Savior
  140. Sing Once More of Jesus
  141. Singing of Jesus
  142. Smile from Jesus, A
  143. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Before
  144. Speak for Jesus
  145. Sunshine in the Soul
  146. Standing on the Battlements
  147. Step into the Fountain
  148. Sweet Assurance
  149. Sweet Story of Jesus
  150. Sweeter as the Days Go By
  151. Take Courage
  152. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  153. Tasmania
  154. Tell It Out with Gladness
  155. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  156. Tell the Blessèd Story
  157. Tell the Whole Wide World
  158. There Is No One Like the Savior
  159. There’s a Blessing at the Cross for Me
  160. There’s a Hand Held Out
  161. There’s a Message from the Lord
  162. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  163. Thy Hope for Eternity
  164. Till the Boat Comes By
  165. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  166. Trusting in Jesus
  167. Uganda
  168. Unsearchable Riches
  169. Vadodara
  170. Wait on the Lord
  171. Waiting for Me
  172. Waiting for the Promise
  173. Walking in the Good Old Way
  174. Walking with Jesus My Lord
  175. Washed White as Snow
  176. We All Can Do Good
  177. We Are Nearing
  178. What More Can He Do?
  179. When Each Others Face We See
  180. When Our Ships Come Sailing Home
  181. While the Years Are Rolling On
  182. Will There Be Any Stars?
  183. Will You Come?